by Cara Coe
“Your traits may set you apart from others and cause you to be more careful about the company you keep, but they are you.
You cant wish it otherwise or it’d be like wishing yourself away.”
Title: The Hidden Princess
Author: Cara Coe
Publisher: BKC Publishing
Book: #1 of Mages and Kingdoms
Rating: 4 Voodoos
For two hundred years the five kingdoms have lived separately. To keep the balance, no inhabitants are allowed to cross into another kingdom. To do so is to be charged as a spy…
At only thirteen, Princess Amelie of Candor developed the powers of persuasion – she can seduce men to do her bidding. Unable to suppress her magic and affecting the males in the palace, she is sent away to live in a small convent of nuns. Time and seclusion eventually has rumours circulating around the princess’s disappearance. It isn’t until years later when assassination attempts threaten the royal family that she is brought back in secret to use her unusual skills to gather information. Her mission sends her into dangerous territory: into the neighboring kingdom of Draeden. A run-in with one of their princes results in her capture and she is taken in to Draeden’s palace to stand trial. But there’s a lot more on the line than she could have ever known. Somewhere along the way she falls for the prince and her heart, which she never thought could beat for someone else, is suddenly her biggest risk of all.
Prince Seth has been immune to magic since he was young which suits him because he dwells in the kingdom of Draeden where powers are forbidden. Even so, when he learns that underground mages in his kingdom are disappearing, he and a band of his soldiers are determined to investigate. When he stumbles across a spy from Candor with the power to seduce men, her magic has no affect on him. But underneath her magic – the woman he comes to know – reins him in with a power far greater than any mage could produce.
What becomes of two enemies that fall in love?
Despite a few things, I actually was quite enjoying this book until I read the blurb for book 2. I had every plan to purchase it as soon as I’d read this one, however ‘sisters are pitted against each other.’ was not a description I was interested in exploring. I know not all siblings get along, but these do and that they possibly fall out over a guy is annoying. It’s not his fault though, which it often is – which just makes it seem worse. This was a short story at 228 pages, and I believe that the second book is shorter still. I’m not saying I’ll never read it, but I wont be reading it right now.
This was a well written, yet simple story – and if you don’t mind the conflict that’s coming – a brilliant start to a new series. The characters are well written and interesting people. I think my favourite is Talon, the friend of the prince. He was capable and loyal and clever and smart. His romantic conduct could do with improvement, but he never promised anything he didn’t give so it’s not a massive character flaw. I hope he gets a good outcome, whatever happens.
I was a little annoyed with Amelie and Seth to be honest. They should just have said “No, we’re in love and getting married and that will be your treaty and we’ll both travel between kingdoms and keep them both safe.” because really that would have been fantastic for both kingdoms AND them too. Why didn’t they think of that?
What was annoying was that her ‘power’ made her desirable, but only to men. What about women who are attracted to women? Or men attracted to men? Were they affected too? It also made them attack her – but the stronger willed ones did not? So was it just those that felt they were allowed to do that? And what if a man had her power? What use would it actually be? Because it seems that all it does is make men want to sleep with you. Or would it reverse so that he had power over women? I fear the answer is neither of those and that’s just wrong on so many levels.
Thinking back, this story reminds me of Graceling. People secretly having powers and adventures happening.